West Bromwich Albion striker Andy Carroll is a doubt for the Baggies’ trip to Bristol City this afternoon as Steve Bruce’s side look to build on Tuesday’s excellent win over Fulham
According to Birmingham Live, the 33-year-old is a doubt, with Bruce saying prior to the match: “Andy has got a bit of a knock.”
The start to Bruce’s tenure as West Brom manager has certainly been mixed, with the Baggies winning just two of their eight matches under the 61-year-old. However, one of those came in their most recent match as Albion recorded an impressive 1-0 victory over table-topping Fulham at The Hawthorns on Tuesday night.
Currently in 12th ahead of today’s meeting with Bristol City, finishing in a play-off spot seems to be a big ask for West Brom, but they are six points behind sixth-placed QPR with nine games to go. Moreover, those remaining fixtures should be relatively straightforward on paper, with the Baggies playing just one of the current top six in Bournemouth before the end of the campaign.
Although he has only netted once so far for his new club, the addition of Carroll was a major coup for Bruce’s side given the striker’s experience. The 33-year-old has made 363 appearances during his career, with 248 of those coming in the Premier League, scoring 83 goals in the process.
He has also been impressive in recent matches, with Sofascore ratings of 7.9 against Huddersfield and 7.1 against Swansea. Also, the Baggies could miss his strong aerial presence in attack, with his match average of 6.7 headers won second only to centre-back Kyle Bartley among Bruce’s squad.
Recently, the duo of Karlan Grant and Callum Robinson have been starting up front, with the pair netting a combined 20 goals this term. In fact, the latter ended an 11-match goal drought when scoring the winner against Fulham in midweek.
However, having an alternative with the quality and experience of Carroll would certainly boost the Baggies’ faint play-off hopes, and they will want him to be available for every remaining match if Bruce’s side are to revive their campaign and finish in the top six.
If the 33-year-old isn’t fit enough to feature today, the manager will be fuming over the absence of the ex-Newcastle striker, especially if Albion fail to secure all three points just as their season appears to be gaining belated momentum.